Melissa Kite

Real life | 4 May 2017

My mortgage funds have gone missing because of an administrative blooper

Real life | 4 May 2017
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A gentleman on Twitter ‘writes’ to say I’m boring him with my house move. ‘Snooze-fest’, says this chap, and he posts a little yellow unhappy face or ‘emoticon’, which passes for articulate on Twitter.

I’ve never heard of this fellow, although it is likely he is some kind of pundit with followers in the blogosphere who rely on him to tell them what is boring and what is not.

I suspect I’m not alone in not knowing who he is, and that no one, including his own mother, has heard of him and that this being Twitter it is entirely likely he has not even heard of himself.

However, I am consumer orientated. I take customer satisfaction extremely seriously and the last thing I want to do is dismiss one complaint just because it’s from an embittered failed author sitting in his underpants in his back bedroom (for example).

I want to address it and make recompense. As such, this week’s offering — which I’m calling The One Where I Manage To Lose £100,000 — is for you, Mr Unsmiley Face.

My mortgage funds have gone missing because of an administrative blooper.

After last week’s ‘boring’ column, in which I told you how my house sale and purchase had hit the buffers because the owner of my dream cottage in the country pulled out of exchange of contracts without warning three days before moving day, I had to start unravelling everything.

I cancelled my removals, restarted the gas and electric, tried to uncancel the possibly only half-cancelled Sky (which obviously failed) and opened a new Thames Water account because the Thames Water computer didn’t have a button to press for ‘deranged woman not moving house any more’. Incidentally, British Gas did have such a button and it worked beautifully. I cannot praise them highly enough for their ability to cope with utter madness.

Things then got a good deal worse. The next day, my solicitor rang to inform me that, as we had been hours from exchange on Thursday afternoon, with completion scheduled for the following Monday morning, he had sent for my mortgage funds, in order to be ready, and they had arrived Friday morning, hours after the seller refused to exchange.

Therefore, he had had to return them. The money should have arrived back with the Woolwich on Monday, but because the owner of my purchase property then decided on Friday afternoon that he wanted to exchange after all, on Monday, I needed the funds back almost as quickly as my solicitor returned them. Stop me if I’m boring you.

So he was now hanging on the phone to a call centre, possibly in India, but he couldn’t get anything but automated messages.

This stalemate has been going on ever since, with the lender insisting I must ring an 0800 number, and after 45 minutes of hanging on the person there insisting we must send a fax to another number in order for them to fax back a confirmation that they will release the funds again so we can exchange. And then, when we do that and they don’t fax us back, we have to begin ringing the 0800 number again. Boring, I know.

Meanwhile, the whole chain and all the various estate agents involved are screaming at me and my lawyer down the phone all day.

Every morning, I wake up and open my eyes to the thought that I have effectively lost £100,000 in the ether. I then shut my eyes, tight shut, and try not to wake up. When the spaniel jumps on my head, I drag the covers higher, curl into a ball and whimper.

Well, it will all resolve itself eventually, I hear you say. Up to a point. Because I’ve been under offer on this dream cottage since March 2016 for various reasons, the mortgage offer expires next week. Game over.

I guess they’re still bored, over there on Twitter. Maybe they’ve all got more money than us and can afford to lose 100k.

Back in the real world, where I will be very much requiring 100k, I haul my sorry ass out of bed, scoop up the mail on the doormat addressed to the strangers who were meant to be living in my flat by now, and ring the lawyer. When he tells me he still hasn’t found my money, I climb back into bed with the dog and lie in a catatonic state, trying to think up a plan B for if I don’t move house to be nearer the horses so I can reduce my outgoings.

I suspect on some level I have already had a nervous breakdown. The upside is, I’m hoping that someone will go on Twitter this afternoon and, inspired by my impending demise, post something complimentary about me — a smiley face, for example.